Googling Your Symptoms Just Got Way More Reliable

Hypochondriacs rejoice: Your illness-related Google searches just got a lot more reliable. The company has teamed up with the Mayo Clinic (as well as its own experts) to provide more accurate answers to your health questions.

These answers have already started to appear in the site's desktop Knowledge Graph feature (those little boxes of information that pop up on the right-hand side of your search results, often with an actor's incorrect age, has anyone else noticed that?). These results, however, come with surprisingly beautiful medical illustrations and — wait for it — actual fact-checked sources where you can get more info.

Despite numerous telemedicine apps and services offering actual medical professionals 24/7 for a low cost, we seem determined to stick with Ye Olde Internet for our late-night, anxiety-inducing advice — if only to figure out whether we should make an appointment for the morning. Indeed, Google says that one out of every 20 searches on its site are health-related. 

This new service takes those searches to the next level, telling users how common a condition is (in actual numbers, broken down by age) alongside its symptoms — so online hypochondriacs may be put a little more at ease. Of course, you might just be looking for information about Crohn's disease or polycystic ovary syndrome rather than wondering about your weird tummy ache that will probably go away by morning. In those cases, the quick facts and expert sources could be a great place to get your research started. 

Although they're more accurate than before, your search answers still shouldn't be a substitute for a live, human doctor who knows you well. Either way, now at least we'll know the most prominent results are coming from someone with more than a degree from the University of Yahoo Answers.

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